Progress after Charlotte review

GOVERNMENT inspectors say children’s services in Nottinghamshire are improving but changes still need to be made.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s Children’s Services was labelled inadequate last year following the death of eight-year-old Mansfield schoolgirl Charlotte Avenall.

Ofsted found that social workers who had dealt with the case were overworked and under trained.

Inspectors followed up the 2010 report with an unannounced visit last month.

Their latest report found that the council’s standards still fell below the level of comparable authorities but some progress had been made.

Inspectors say the authority has taken ‘swift action’ to address the priority areas.

Coun Philip Owen, cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “I am pleased that the latest inspection into the services for our most vulnerable children has confirmed that we are making improvements.

“I am particularly pleased that strengths have been identified. All of the areas for priority action identified in the previous unannounced inspection have been addressed.”

But the two-day inspection did reveal several areas requiring further development, including agencies not always responding to social workers’ requests for information and caseloads remaining high for some staff.

Charlotte was found hanged to death in her bedroom in September 2009.

Her mother Susan Moody (24) and step-father Simon Moody (32) were each sentenced to a year in jail after admitting child neglect in April last year.

Charlotte had been visited many times by a number of social workers until three months before her death.